Invited to participate in the Youth Connekt Africa Summit 2017 in Kigali, Rwanda from July 17 to 21, 2017, Arielle Kitio, the promoter of the CAYSTI Center tells her experience to readers of TIC Mag. On the menu, her pride in having listened to the advice of the digital giants she has worked with, her experience, her project and her advice to young entrepreneurs.
TIC Mag: You were invited to PARTICIPATE in the Youth Connekt Africa Summit 2017 in Kigali, Rwanda from July 17 to 21, 2017. What was it all about?
Arielle Kitio: Youth Connekt Africa is the largest youth entrepreneurship conference in Africa. The basic objective is to educate young entrepreneurs, project leaders thanks to success stories, on how (mindset, opportunities) transform their idea, its potential into a success that inspires generations. The mission of YouthConnekt Hub is to promote policies, design programs tailored to young Africans and provide a platform that facilitates synergy of efforts from partners who share a common vision of bridging the gap between youth aspirations and youth. opportunities available. The said conference was held from July 19 to 21, 2017 in Kigali under the leadership of President Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda.
TIC Mag: Several international investors were invited to boost the entrepreneurial spirit of young Africans. What is the experience or the speech that struck you the most during this summit?
Arielle Kitio: Indeed, among the many special summit guests were Jack Ma, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Alibaba Group; Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD; Abdoulaye Mar Diye, Deputy Administrator of UNDP and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa; Vera Songwe of the Economic Commission for Africa and the young Arielle Kitio, founder of Caysti, that I am. The summit attracted over 1,500 guests who included senior executives from multinational companies operating in Africa, leaders of civil society organizations, Africa’s development partners, academics and entrepreneurs, artists and opinion leaders from all continents. At this conference, each meeting was a source of inspiration and motivation. It was a veritable burst of spirits and engaged, and in many ways stimulated my neurons. One of the most rewarding experiences was the pitch. In 1min 30s, it was necessary to describe, convince and touch the sensitivity of the members of the jury with impressive backgrounds and of each individual from an audience of more than 500 people with different origins and interests. Out of the 07 entrepreneurs selected by UNCTAD (from Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Gambia and Cameroon), I had to move up to sixth position. My brain was in fast learning mode, trying to capitalize very quickly on comments and criticisms made to previous entrepreneurs in order to improve mine. In my turn, it was a homogeneous mixture of stress, excitement which flew away upon hearing the big ovation which followed my passage. The remarks made to me by the jury are invaluable and will undoubtedly help me improve. This exercise tested my passion, my ambition, the greatness of the vision we have for the project we are carrying. If there is a lesson to be learned it would be “Show your passion, don’t be afraid to say what you need”
TIC Mag: Other meetings and presentations which also marked you…?
Arielle Kitio: I was also blown away by the simplicity and pragmatism of some special guests like Vera Songwe (CEA Executive Secretary) and Jack MA (founder of Alibaba) who dream big and yet have their feet on the ground. The common thing they share is that they weren’t guided by the greed, but the concern to make a difference, to meet a global need and to surpass themselves every time. I couldn’t fail to give a special nod to Monique Ntumngia of GreenGirls my all-round compatriot at the top.
TIC Mag: How were you invited to this summit?
Arielle Kitio: Due to the issue addressed, the vision and the current impact of my initiative, I was selected by UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) on youth entrepreneurship. I want to thank them for this incredible learning and networking opportunity. I would particularly like to thank, Ms. Fiorina Mugione, Head of the Entrepreneurship Section who is one of the strong examples of these strong and efficient people and women who make every obstacle a great opportunity to showcase their talent. “They close the door to me, I go through the window,” she likes to repeat.
TIC Mag: After this experience, what other advice do you give to young entrepreneurs?
Arielle Kitio: The most important advice that I will give to young people who, like me, feel the mission to be as useful as possible to the emergence of their homeland, Africa and simply human beings (regardless of race, religious obedience, etc.) is to dream big. Our first limit is the one we impose on ourselves. The other tip comes in a single sentence resulting from a compilation of tips that inspired me: “Dream Big, Work smart, Be Resilient, Surround yourself by people you are marter, Tell your story”. I will add to this two quotes: “1000 failures make 01 Success … learn how successful people deal with their failures rather than focussing on their successes” from JACK MA and “We need a new generation of problem solvers, who see further and work smarter », HE Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda.
Interview by TIC Mag